Qawwali is a musical tradition that stretches back for more than 700 years.
This profound Qawwali is by Amjad Sabri and is in praise of a leader in history named Hussain, who refused to pledge allegiance to a tyrant of his time called Yazid. Later on, he was savagely killed along with most of his family members and supporters. The remaining women and children were then taken captive.
Extremely difficult to translate into English, here are some lines from the Qawwali:
The start of every startThe extreme of benevolence Hussain isDon’t ask what Hussain is
Hussain had a choice to make. To endorse Yazid would no doubt mean a handsome reward and a life of luxury. To refuse would invariably lead to his own demise. What should he do? What would you or I do? For Hussain the choice between the easy thing and the right thing was no choice at all.
He said: “I will never give Yazid my hand like a man who has been humiliated, nor will I flee like a slave… I have not risen to spread evil or to show off… I only desire to enjoin good values and prevent evil.”
The opposing forces of 30,000 soldiers, vastly outnumbered the small band of 72 men and their families
That night Hussain assembled his group, stressing to them that it was his life that Yazid wanted and that they might be able to escape. Again, Hussain’s selflessness shone through. There he stood, amongst his family and companions, all having been deprived of water in the scorching desert for three days, pleading with them to leave him and save themselves!
Source: Who is Hussain
The opposing forces deliberately cut off the water supply and even refused water to a parched, six month old baby, who was then targeted and killed by a three-pronged poisoned arrow, as his father watched in shock.
As everyday citizens, we can learn from such inspiring events in history and apply them in our own lives. We are of course not faced with such a daunting challenge, but the ones we do face in our lives when we have a choice to make between truth or falsehood, be it asking to take a bribe or standing up for a friend who is being bullied, we can stand firm and choose the path of righteousness.
Antoine Bara: “No battle in the modern and past history of mankind has earned more sympathy and admiration as well as provided more lessons than the martyrdom of Husayn in the battle of Karbala.” (Husayn in Christian Ideology)
Dr. K. Sheldrake: “Of that gallant band, male and female knew that the enemy forces around were implacable, and were not only ready to fight, but to kill. Denied even water for the children, they remained parched under the burning sun and scorching sands, yet not one faltered for a moment. Husain marched with his little company, not to glory, not to power of wealth, but to a supreme sacrifice, and every member bravely faced the greatest odds without flinching.”
Dr. Rajendra Prasad: “The sacrifice of Imam Hussain (A.S.) is not limited to one country, or nation, but it is the hereditary state of the brotherhood of all mankind.”
Day 20 NaBloPoMo/NanoPoblano/YeahNoMo